The Vannucci Model of Hypoxic-Ischemic Injury in the Neonatal Rodent: 40 years Later

Susan J. Vannucci, Stephen A. Back

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Perinatal hypoxic-ischemic (HI) brain damage has long been a major cause of acute mortality and chronic neurological morbidity in infants and children. Experimental animal models are essential to gain insights into the pathogenesis and management of perinatal HI brain damage. Prior to 1980, only large animal models were available. The first small animal model was developed in the postnatal 7 (P7) rat in 1981, now known as the Vannucci model. This model combines unilateral carotid artery ligation with subsequent hypoxia to produce transient hemispheric hypoxia-ischemia in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the ligation while the contralateral hemisphere is exposed to hypoxia only. This model has been characterized with studies of cerebral hemodynamics, cerebral metabolic changes, and acute and chronic neuropathology. Over the past 40 year, this animal model has been utilized in numerous laboratories around the world, has been adapted to the immature mouse, as well as to immature rodents at various stages of development. This brief review describes the validation and characterization studies of the original model and some of the adaptations. A discussion of all of the studies focused on specific cell types is beyond the scope of this review. Rather, we present the application of the model to the study of a specific cell type, the pre-oligodendrocyte, and the role this cell plays in the development of white matter injury in the preterm brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-193
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Neuroscience
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022


  • Animal model
  • Immature rodent
  • Perinatal hypoxia-ischemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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